When you’re looking for a new planter for your Fiddle Leaf Fig, it can be tempting to judge the options based on appearance alone. But the choice of container can have real consequences for your plant’s long-term health, so it is important to choose a container that will allow your Fiddle Leaf Fig to abide in the best possible conditions.
Fiddle Leaf Figs do best in a snug container with plenty of drainage holes. They usually need to be repotted every two or three years. Figs can adapt to planters of different shapes and materials. Containers without proper drainage can be used as a cachepot to hold the functional planter inside.
Obviously, when we bring any type of plant into our homes, we provide conditions quite different from what it would receive in a natural environment. But by choosing a container that meets the physical needs of our new plants, we can do our best to provide the environment they need to live indoors.
The Most Important Feature When Choosing a Container
The single most important feature when choosing a container for your Fiddle Leaf Fig is the drainage hole/s because they’re our first line of defense against overwatering. Fiddle Leaf Figs, and most other houseplants, are highly susceptible to root rot, so making sure the soil can drain quickly and dry out between waterings is critical.
Drainage holes give the water we pour into our houseplants a route of escape. That means that your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s soil will only absorb as much as it needs and the rest can pass through and out of the container.
Containers must have at least one drainage hole to be acceptable homes for Fiddle Leaf Figs, though two or more are better. If the container you’ve chosen does not have a drainage hole you’ll either need to choose something else, carefully drill your own, or use it as a cachepot.
What Size Pot to Choose for Your Fiddle Leaf Fig
Although it may not be obvious, choosing a container that is too large for your Fiddle Leaf Fig can lead to overwatering. This happens because a large container holds too much soil, and it takes a long time to dry out. It’s important to maintain the proper ratio of roots to soil that allows your Fiddle Leaf Fig to get enough water but also to dry out before you water it again.
When repotting a Fiddle Leaf Fig that has outgrown its current container, choose a new pot that is one size bigger (typically 2-4 inches larger in diameter). If you’re repotting a plant you just brought home that still has plenty of room in its container, choose a pot that is a similar side to the one it resides in now.
Does Shape Matter?
Not really! Fiddle Leaf Fig roots are adaptable to different container shapes and depths. There are just a few considerations. First, is the new container going to hold a lot more soil than the current one because of its different dimensions? If so, you might want to choose a smaller container.
Second, will the root ball comfortably fit into the new container? If you try to move a Fiddle Leaf Fig from a deep container to a shallower but wider one, for example, you may find it hard to fit all the roots into their new home. In this case, you have the option to trim some roots when you repot or to choose a different planter instead.
What Material is Best for Fiddle Leaf Fig Leaf Fig Containers?
When you purchase your Fiddle Leaf Fig, it will most likely be in a functional but unattractive plastic nursery pot. Nursery pots are used because they’re cheap and lightweight, but they are not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing choice as your Fiddle Leaf Fig’s long-term home.
On the other hand, nursery pots tend to have plenty of drainage holes and can be good options even for mature plants. See the section below on cache pots for more information about how to hide an unattractive plastic planter.
Terracotta planters are popular for all types of indoor plants since they have a timeless look that blends in with all types of decor, and they develop a patina with age that many people enjoy. They are good for plants like Fiddle Leaf Figs that are sensitive to overwatering since the porous clay absorbs some moisture from the soil and promotes air circulation around the roots. However, if your Fiddle Leaf Fig is quite large, the required terracotta container could be pretty heavy and difficult to move.
Similarly, glazed ceramic pots can be attractive but can be heavy and expensive in sizes appropriate for Fiddle Leaf Figs. Some ceramic pots have drainage holes, but many don’t so be sure to confirm before you purchase one.
Maybe you found the ideal planter that matches your decor perfectly, only to realize that it doesn’t have drainage holes! Not to worry, this happens all the time. There are a couple of options in this scenario.
You could drill holes in the container to allow for proper drainage. Be sure you use the correct type of drill bit for the material you’re using, wear protective gear, and go slowly.
Alternately, some people have had luck putting a layer of some substance such as gravel or styrofoam under the soil, with the idea that any excess water will drain through that and collect at the bottom of the pot. We do not recommend this method, though, as it is too easy to make a mistake. If you don’t want to drill holes in your container, I’d use it as a cachepot instead.
What’s a cachepot? It’s simply a decorative pot that conceals the less attractive but functional container inside. Simply place your plant in its current nursery pot inside the decorative container that doesn’t have drainage holes. I usually use a saucer to catch water inside the cachepot, even if it’s made from a watertight material like glazed ceramic or plastic. It is much easier to dump excess water from a saucer than to try to empty a heavy ceramic pot. If the cache pot is made of metal, unglazed ceramic, wood, or any other material that could allow water to pass through or cause damage, the saucer is a must.
Cachepots make it easy to change up the appearance of your Fiddle Leaf Fig without repotting the plant, and it is more convenient to keep a larger Fiddle Leaf Fig in a lightweight plastic pot that can be moved easily. That’s why I prefer to use cachepots for my Fiddle Leaf Figs.
Baskets as Cachepots
Baskets make great cache pots for Fiddle Leaf Figs in a variety of interior styles. They look great, they come in tons of colors, shapes, and patterns, and they tend to be less expensive than other large containers. Head over to our other article here for more information about using baskets with your Fiddle Leaf Fig.
One of the great things about Fiddle Leaf Figs is that they look good with all types of interior decor styles. To further customize your plant’s appearance, choose a pot that complements your room but make sure that it also allows your Fig to stay healthy and keep growing. Drainage is the most important consideration, but also make sure that the size and shape of the container will not cause inadvertent overwatering.